Putin considers changes to ‘foreign agents’ law

The President of the Russian Federation does not
deem it necessary to either toughen up or relax the current law on
Non-Commercial Organisations

The president of the Russian Federation Vladimir
Putin has made a statement about the need to restore order in the laws relating
to ‘foreign agents’, reports RIA Novosti. The head of state emphasised that the
law could be improved, but remarked that he did not deem it necessary to either toughen up or relax it. The statement was
made when the president met with members of the Russian Youth Forum ‘Seliger.’
As concerns the ‘improvement’ of the law, Putin suggests, in addition, the
creation of clear and precise criteria for ‘political activity.’

The president also addressed the issue of state
funding in the tertiary sector. ‘We have agreed that the Human Rights
organisations themselves will put in place a financial system to which the
state will transfer money, and this system itself will distribute the funds.
This will occur regardless of whether the organisations have received grants
from abroad. Those which are concerned with policy must be registered as
foreign agents’ announced Putin.

As far as the president is concerned, such a means
of distributing funds will allow Russian Non-Commercial organisations to
function regardless of the source of funding. ‘We want our Human Rights
agencies to function as independently as possible from the state, but, of
course, they have the opportunity to take advantage of our support,’ Putin

Previously, the president instructed that RUB 500
million be donated from the state budget to the Russian social movement ‘Civil
Achievement’ so that in future it could share the funds with Human Rights
organisations ‘for the realisations of projects with social focus.’ It is
envisaged that Putin will meet with Human Rights activists in the autumn to
evaluate amendments to the law on ‘foreign agents.’ The presidential council
will present to the Head of State its recommendations for amendments to the


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